Monday, April 14, 2014

Kidspot Voices of 2014 Top 100 and Some Hot Blogging Tips


I went back to school on the weekend, blogging school, that is.  You never stop learning in this game and it's always wonderful to get insights from the most successful bloggers, on how to do things better and grow.  Although they always seem to effortlessly execute wonderful content for their blogs, the key message from the A list, was that any success, is as a result of sheer hard work.  A bit like the old adage, 'the harder I work, the luckier I get'.


As part of the event launch, we gathered for a blogging masterclass at The school, in Rosebery, brainchild of creative genius, Megan Morton.  
After some light refreshments on arrival, we were treated to a beautifully styled school room in which to learn, replete with lovely vintage elements reminiscent of an old style education.  However, that was where the old fashioned elements of the lesson ended.  

With complimentary diaries at the ready, I took loads of notes.  Maybe that's old fashioned too, but it's the way I prefer to roll.

 It's incredible how there is always something to learn and how nothing stays the same for long in social media.  Another key message, is that social media is not a passing fad and the digital medium is ignored at your peril.


The blogging masterclass consisted of three informative and interesting panel sessions, which concluded in a Q &A with the audience.

First up was a great panel on Finessing Facebook.  

The panel consisted of Yianni Konstantopoulos: Social@ogilvy
Katrina Springer: The Organised Housewife
Jaclyn Carlson: The Blog Society

Facebook is a social media platform I really enjoy engaging in, but Facebook has recently changed the algorithm yet again, such that only up to 1% of your followers will see your business page feed, unless you pay to promote it.  

Hot Tips to increase your organic reach: 

  • Upload your photos as an album to Facebook for a greater reach.
  • Facebook prefers rectangular shots
  • Facebook prefers short links.
  • 80/20 rule. ie. 20% should be your stuff, 80% should be inspiration or sharing others' stuff.
  • Know when the engaged portion of your community is on Facebook, otherwise you are talking to no one. If you can schedule your posts to fit these times, do it.  
  • Sharing and commenting increases your reach. Get organised in a group and do this mutually with others.
  • Make it easy for readers to follow you by giving them the option to follow you on all platforms at the bottom of each post on your blog.
  • Use Facebook Apps to direct followers to your other social media platforms.  I so need to do this.



Next was the dynamic duo Mrs Woog and Baby Mac.  They are a great double act and had us all in stitches.

Hot tips:  
  • Say "yes" to everything in terms of off blog exposure, even if it scares the hell out of you, because it may be a break through moment in terms of driving traffic.
  • Always give your readers something.  Don't just make it about you.  They need to go away with something, like useful tips, a recipe, or having enjoyed your pretty images or opinion.

And their most popular posts ever: 

Mrs Woog's: How to make Tuna Mornay from the Servo.

Mrs Mac's: How to Make a Pepper Pig birthday Cake.  According to Mrs Mac, it "wasn't a great cake", but it's very popular all the same.  I just goggled the cake, as research for this post and I think any kid would be very pleased with a cake like that.

With these 2 girls, I think it's all in the delivery and it's always pretty entertaining.

Next up was a forum on Inspiration in Innovation

Luisa Brimble: Alphabet Family Journal
Lisa Tilse: The Red Thread
Sneh Roy: Cook Rebublic

This was a fabulous discussion from some true creatives.

Hot Tips:  
  • It's easier to create your own content than copy others, because it's so much easier to be yourself, than someone else.
  • Be a COP, Consistent, Original and Persistent.  Kind of like I always say. "Just keep going."  Because you don't know what's around the corner.
  • Bite off more than you can chew, because you may be able to chew more than you thought. ( from Pip Lincoln facilitator)
  • Grasp every opportunity you get, because it may never be presented to you again.
  • When Sneh was asked, "How did you know you could do it?" On the subject of triple testing recipes, cooking, styling and shooting her cookbook in 40 days.  Sneh answered, "Because I wanted to do it."


After school, it was off to the launch party, held at Studio Luxe in Darlinghust.

I was honoured to be included in the top 40 list in the Beauty and Lifestyle bloggers category.
The competition is split into 3 categories, the other two are Personal and Parenting (30) and Food and Wellbeing (30).

Now from that list of 100, a total of five bloggers will be chosen from each category, to proceed further in the competition.

Here's the judging criteria 

I am so glad it's not a popularity contest, as I have never been good at begging for votes.

At the party, I made sure I met lots of  people I had never said hello to before.  These types of events are a great way to meet newer bloggers, who are often doing things very well. It's a great to move out of your comfort zone and find out new things.

The stand out new talent for me, was Jane, I was very impressed with her blog Emerald and Ella.  Jane is doing beautiful things over in her space.  She has a beautiful foodie blog, with some stunning content and innovative recipes.

I also met Gordo for the first time.  He is the husband of the charming Cybele.  Together they produce a lovely blog called Blah Blah Magazine, with lots of great home hints and tutorials on making natural household cleaning and beauty products and also loads of home style ideas and recipes.

Another one to watch, is fellow Kidspot finalist Basmah from Lacee & Lattes.  Basmah is an 18 year old journalism student, who has only been blogging since December 2013.  After being told she "would never amount to anything",  Basmah is pursuing her dream to become a beauty journalist.  Good on her.

If you pop over to any of the lovely blogs  I have mentioned here to say hi, let them know I sent you.

Have a great week Beach Dwellers.

It's school holidays here so things will be hectic.

If you would like Desire Empire posts to come straight to your inbox every ten days or so, you can sign up here for my Newsletter.

And following on from the tips above:

You can also find me on
Facebook, 
Twitter, 
Pinterest, 
Google + 
and instagram @desireempire

Today I am linked up here
Sunday Showcase
Metamorphosis Monday
Wow Us Wednesday
Feathered Nest Friday
Show and Tell Friday
Tatertots and Jello

34 comments :

  1. Sounds like a very informative time and you gained so much for being there. Congratulations on making it into the Top 30 - such a great accomplishment and very well deserved. I love your blog! I was invited to the Voices event but it clashed with Archie's 21st birthday party. I'm very sad I missed it xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry you missed it. Would have loved to have caught up. I bet the 21st was fabulous.
      Carolyn

      Delete
  2. Thank you for this - I found the FB tips very helpful indeed :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good. Glad to help you in any way.
      Carolyn

      Delete
  3. Thank you for your insight. I was meant to be there and unfortunately I woke up with a migraine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh no that's is a shame. ope you are fighting fit again. Here's to next year.
      Carolyn

      Delete
    2. And that would be "hope you are fighting fit"

      Delete
  4. Carolyn - congratulations on your inclusion in the blog Top 100, you must be happy.
    Re the facebook 80:20 - i'm surprised it's not the other way round. surely people would prefer to see your own original content most of the time rather than just the same old stuff getting posted again and again?? I definitely know that my own original content outperforms in terms of reach and likes/comments than if i share someone else's post for inspiration. It's it's not just a typo on your behalf i'd lvoe to hear their reasoning behind that.

    sounds like a fun day, thanks for sharing.
    fiona x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Fiona
      No it's not a typo. I think the reasoning behind it is that one person, unless they are really talented, is just not that interesting. A bit like Elle MacPherson once declaring she only ever reads something she's written herself. Filling up someones feed with the same thing can be dull and limiting........that's the logic behind it anyway.

      I guess it's also just about being kind and sharing the love. I find when I act in that way and share peoples' stuff, it comes back to me in spades and is so worth it.

      I agree seeing the same things lots is not good either but, that doesn't happen alot and I really appreciate finding out about a range of interesting things on FB.
      Carolyn

      It's about having people wanting to react to a news feed by sharing and commenting and mixing that up a bit can't hurt. It's not about just promoting what you are doing, but sharing funny/interesting stuff you have found out there on the inter webs. I guess if you are already getting good results with what you are posting then no need to change it.

      Carolyn

      Delete
    2. that's interesting, Carolyn, and I'm sure results depend on what your facebook is about. I also don't like when i see Facebook pages constantly sharing content that isn't theirs without a credit, and source:pinterest just annoys me massively - that's just lazy (I know you don't do that, but you know what i mean.) I wonder what Darren Rowse take on that would be as he is all about creating your own content and be original. Hard to be original is only 20% of the stuff on your feed isn't your own?

      I definitely don't like selfishness etc. I think that i share enough stuff and give away all my knowledge, answer every single comment/questions/ a gazillion emails etc and promote heaps of other people's businesses that i like so i agree with you about sharing the love and stuff coming back in spades. The best way to live your life.

      thanks for your reply

      cheers Fiona

      Delete
    3. Running your own race is important. If you have a formula which is working for you stick with it. Unlike many bloggers, you have a product to sell other than your tutorials and words, so maybe its different for you, because you are producing something which is tangible and interesting. Looking at my own fb, I don't post anywhere near 80/20, which is something I may change maybe not.

      Delete
    4. Go you good thing! And so good to see you as always.

      I've been wondering about this 80/20 rule too. I first heard it from Amy Porterfield at her ProBlogger talk, but I'm not entirely convinced. Yes it seems to get better immediate engagement, but I'm inclined to mix that with Organised Housewife's approach - only one inspiration quote a day and the five other updates are her content.

      Delete
    5. Thanks Cybele.

      As for Facebook I'm not that great at it and probably do 80/20 the wrong way around to the advice. I just wish everyone would move over to google +, but it feels like no one is over there yet. Perhaps this is a really good time to work it and forget about FB altogether, but the brands seem to put huge store in FB, when ironically the reach is so poor.

      Oh well onward and upward.
      Carolyn

      Also someone told me they paid and got good reach, but when they stopped paying their reach was significantly lower than before.

      Delete
    6. Yes, Google+ looks like fun. I must go and spend some time. Thank you so much for the link and kind words. You're a gentlewoman and a scholar x

      Delete
    7. It's a pleasure to mention you guys. It is clear you both work very hard on it and are passionate about what you do. Your blog is lovely and so professionally produced.
      Carolyn

      Delete
  5. It was great to keep up to date on the kidspot conference via your facebook over the weekend. Sounds like it was a fantastic conference, if only I lived in Sydney I would have loved to have come along.
    Such a great achievement to get into the top 30 too and you have been so supportive of us bloggers along the way too, I really hope you get through you are a wonderful mentor. Good luck xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Michelle for your kind wishes. Glad you enjoyed the feed. If you put #voicesof2014 into twitter/facebook you will get some great insights into all the important stuff. Hopefully we can meet there next year.
      Carolyn

      Delete
  6. Your photos are so lovely Carolyn, and thank you for the little feature in your post! It was nice meeting you on Saturday night, hopefully we will cross paths again very soon! x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pleasure, it was lovely to meet you and I will watch your progress with great interest. Oh to be 18 again and have all this wonderful connective technology available.
      Carolyn

      Delete
  7. Congratulations Carolyn! Lovely to see a familiar name in the list :)

    I had rsvp'd for the school event but couldn't make it in the end which was disappointing. I would really like to bump up my blogging and need to get organised. Thanks for sharing your tips

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh never mind. You can get a great feel for what went on via the hashtag. Hopefully we can meet there next year.
      Carolyn

      Delete
  8. Great round up of all the tips Carolyn! It was actually really good reading them back and refreshing my memory. And good work on getting all those snaps of the events. I think I must have been too busy talking as I only have 2 photos. Thanks so much for the very kind mention too. x Jane

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Jane

    I probably drive peeps mad with all my camera work,. Funnily enough I feel like I am constantly taking photos, but then never feel I have enough after uploading.

    I am so glad to have made your acquaintance at the launch, as I truly think you will go very far in this game. Your skills and blog are fabulous and I am looking forward to seeing where you take it.

    I hope you will blog about the photo shoot at your home this week, as I am very interested to see how it goes. Best of luck with it.
    Carolyn

    ReplyDelete
  10. Congratulations Carolyn, what a wonderful event to be apart of. And thank you for sharing some of your notes. As you can said - can never stop learning and I'm certainly learning everyday. I love your blog. And I'm loving writing a blog - if only I had more time. lol.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much.
      Yes it sure takes a lot of time to produce some quality content. The great thing in this game, is you can just go at your own pace and ultimately scale it up or down as the opportunities present.
      Carolyn

      Delete
  11. Nice article. I heard the same stuff on facebook. Makes you wonder why even bother with them?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Bryan
      And I agree, but so many peeps see value in facebook.
      Carolyn

      Delete
  12. Carolyn, thank you so much for this recap! I was so sad to have to pull out from both events at the last minute, but that is the way it goes. Your recap made me feel like I'd caught up on some of the things I missed.
    Thank you, and good luck getting through to the next level!
    xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a crying shame you missed it, but everything happens for a reason. Congrats on your inclusion in the top 30 and best of luck for moving through too.
      Carolyn

      Delete
  13. Thanks for the tips and the roundup Carolyn. Facebook is pretty frustrating but I've heard this 80/20 rule before so maybe there's something in it. I love the Organised Housewife, and would have loved to hear her take on things. Congratulations on making the top 40:-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Denise
      Yes Kat is incredible. I asked her if she had any training in relation to social media prior to starting her blog and facebook page. She said "No". She has just worked it all out herself. I think she has just cornered a niche in terms of helping people with organisation. She gives something useful in all of her posts, which keeps people interested I guess. Hence the advice to give the readers something every time they visit. I think too many bloggers make the mistake of making it all about themselves, which is by and large very boring over time.
      Carolyn

      Delete
  14. Great wrap up post, Carolyn! I really enjoyed the FB session. There was a plethora of great info from the panel. And totally agree - we need to think more about posting content that give our readers a take away, tip or something to think about.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thank you so much for the tips, some great bits of advice here. I didn't know fb prefered horizontal pics, great to know. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Facebook marketing is one of the best way to do marketing. Your tips for facebook is very informative. I hope it also work for my product. Thanks to share this.

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...